Ms Alison Jeffers

Lecturer in Applied Theatre

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Research interests

Alison Jeffers's research interests include: cultural democracy; applied theatre practice and research methodologies; participatory theatre with marginalised groups; community arts history and practice; performances of citizenship and belonging. Her practical interests include storytelling and adaptation in performance, site specific practices and autobiographical performance. Between 2005 and 2010 she undertook drama work with refugees and asylum seekers who are survivors of torture at Freedom from Torture in Manchester. Her most recent research concerns historical and contemporary understandings of cultural democracy seen through the lens of the British Community Arts Movement of the 1970s and 1980s. Research involved interviewing artists active in the early years of the movement, working in a number of private archives and uncovering a wealth of material from that period. The results of that research can be seen in Culture Democracy and the Right to Make Art, a co-edited book with artist Gerri Moriarty, published by Bloomsbury Methuen in 2017. In 2018 this book was awarded Gold Open Access status, enabled through institutional funds from the University of Manchester.


Authored Books

Performing Global Identities: refugees, theatre and crisis, (2011) Palgrave Macmillan: Basingstoke (216pp.) 

Edited Books

Culture, Democracy and the Right to Make Art: the British community arts movement (Co-edited with Gerri Moriarty) (2017) Bloomsbury Methuen Drama: London (263pp.)

Chapters in books

‘Jurisdictional Spaces of Asylum – the potential of the empty gesture’ in Contemporary Research on Refugee Writing, Edinburgh University Press, Emma Cox, Sam Durrant, David Farrier, Lyndsey Stonebridge and Agnes Woolley (eds.) (Forthcoming)

‘Authority, Authorisation and Authorship: Participation in Community Plays in Belfast’ in Performance and Participation: Practices, Audiences, Politics, Helen Nicholson and Anna Harpin (eds.) Palgrave Macmillan: Basingstoke, 2017 (p.209-229)

‘Collecting and Re-Collecting: the challenges and possibilities of developing a social archive in post-conflict Northern Ireland’ in Claire Cochrane and Jo Robinson (eds.) Theatre History an Historiography. Ethics, Evidence and Truth, Palgrave Macmillan: Basingstoke, 2015 (p.147-162)

‘Civil Listening and Hospitable Stages: being an audience for participatory refugee theatre’ in Michael Balfour (ed.) Refugee Performance: Practical Encounters, Intellect: Bristol, 2013 (p.297-311) 

Looking for Esrafil: witnessing refugitive bodies in I've got something to show you in Chris Megson and Alison Forsythe (eds.)Get Real: Documentary theatre past, present and future, Palgrave Macmillan, 2009. (p.91-106)

Performance in place of war in Hanne-Lovise Skartveit and Katherine Goodnow (eds.) Museums, New Media and Refugees. Forms and Issues of Participation. Oxford: Berghahn Books and Museum of London, 2009. (p.161-172) 

Publications: Papers in peer reviewed journals 

The Rough Edges: community, art and history RiDE: The Journal of Applied Theatre and Performance 15: 1 February 2010 (29-37) 

Dirty truth: personal narrative, victimhood and participatory theatre work with people seeking asylum Research in Drama Education (Special edition on Performance and Asylum: embodiment, ethics and community) 13: 2 June 2008 (217-223) 

Half-hearted promises or wrapping ourselves in the flag: two approaches to the pedagogy of citizenship Research in Drama Education 12: 3 November 2007 (355-371)






Research and projects

No current projects are available for public display